The longest wait for a Zelda sequel ever with Breath of the Wild 2

Breath of the Wild is one of the best games ever, and as Legend of Zelda fans, we are hoping that the sequel is going to top that. Recently we passed the longest amount of time waiting between mainline Legend of Zelda entries in the franchise, having past the 5 years, 5 months and 15-day mark. That’s a new record. Today I want to talk about that gap between games, plus have a look at the other gaps between Legend of Zelda games, as I round up the latest Zelda News.

Before we get into the video today, let me know in the comments when you think Breath of the Wild 2 is coming out. Nintendo has said Spring 2022, but when is that? Does that mean April, does that mean May, or do you think it’s going to be delayed again, or brought forward (like Xenoblade Chronicles 3)? Share your thoughts of the Breath of the Wild 2 release date down in the comments.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild went down as many people’s game of the year back in 2017, plus some rate it as their favourite game of all time. While the game is great, we have now past the longest wait for a new mainline Zelda game. I have to clarify new, meaning not remakes or remasters like Link’s Awakening, or Skyword.

The previous longest gap between Legend of Zelda games goes to Link’s Awakening, originally released on the Gameboy in 1993, to Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, released on the N64 in 1998. The Twitter account ‘BombosMedallion’ pointed this out, saying it was 5 years, 5 months and 22 days between those two titles.

This unfortunate record is set to continue, given the Sequel to Breath of the Wild is set for an ambiguous release date of Spring 2023. Spring is somewhere between Monday 20th March to Wednesday 21 June. Optimistically then we could be getting the game in March, or pessimistically we could be getting the game in June. Looking at it very pessimistically, the game could get delayed again.

BombosMedallion also pointed out the gap between other Legend of Zelda games and noted the gap got bigger with each entry.

  • Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask: 523 days (1 year, 5 months, 7 days)
  • Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker: 960 days (2 years, 7 months, 18 days)
  • Wind Waker and Twilight Princess: 1437 days (3 years, 11 months, 7 days)
  • Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword: 1825 days (4 years, 11 months, 30 days)
  • Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild: 1932 days (5 years, 3 months, 16 days)
  • Breath of the Wild and today: 1999 days (5 years, 5 months, 22 days)

If this trajectory continues, then we’re not likely to see the next mainline Zelda game until approximately 2029. So, savour these moments of build-up to Breath of the Wild 2, because the next one after that may be a few years wait…

It’s been 147 days since we last had official news related to Breath of the Wild 2, when Eiji Anouma came out and spoke to us about the delay while delivering a tiny snippet of new information with the close-up shot of Link looking at the broken Master Sword. It’s also been 3 years, 2 months and 14 days since we found out that Breath of the Wild 2 was in development, and in that time we have had 3 short trailers – E3 2019 (1min 26sec), E3 2021 (1min 39sec) and Delay Trailer 2022 (1min 31sec). That’s a total of 4mins 36secs – and quite a lot of that time has been taken up with shots of Hyrule. Come on Nintendo, we Zelda YouTubers are starving, there are only so many videos we can squeeze out of 4 mins and 36 secs of footage…

Eiji Anouma spoke to us in the delay trailer from March 2023, first apologising Breath of the Wild 2 was going to be delayed, but then gave us some details as to why it might be taking a long time.

“The adventure in this sequel will take place not just on the ground as in previous games, but also in the skies above. However, the expanded world goes beyond that and there will a wider variety of features you can enjoy including new encounters and new gameplay elements. In order to make this game’s experience something special, the entire development team is continuing to work diligently on this game, so please wait a while longer.”

There are a few interesting points in there. Anouma says the game is going to take place on the ground, and in the skies. We’ve discussed before the potential for in-flight fighting mechanics, related to some of the patents regarding gameplay mechanics. However, Aonuma says “the expanded world goes beyond that”. Beyond the land and the sky? What does that mean? I guess that could mean underwater, or underground, given we have seen Link and Zelda travelling underground in the first trailer.

You may ask yourself “Nintendo, why is it taking so long?” … Well, Covid has been with us since March 2020 and there was a massive impact on everyone all around the globe. Specifically, game development, it’s a very collaborative art, and Japan had very strict lockdown rules in place. While we can work with communication tools like Zoom, Miro, and other collaborative tools, the switch from office to home has a massive impact. While we didn’t see much of an impact in 2020, or 2021, we’ve been seeing many games in 2022 get delayed, given the amount of time it takes to develop games. I would imagine we’re going to see even more delays going into 2023 and 2024.

While we are now in record-breaking territory concerning the amount of time waiting for a Zelda game, I do think there are reasons to be happy and hopeful. The team developing Breath of the Wild 2 are likely to be many from the team that brought us Breath of the Wild, one of the best games ever made. Nintendo knows this, and they are pouring their heart and soul into the game. I would much rather Nintendo work on the game until it’s ready, rather than release the game early and it not be ready.

There is so many examples of games like Cyberpunk 2077, the recent Saints Row, Anthem, Fallout 76, and the list goes on… these games aren’t remembered for the state they eventually get to, they are remembered for their disaster releases. While I don’t enjoy waiting, I would rather Nintendo work on the game until they think it’s ready, and release it when the time is right. Plus, while we’re waiting for Breath of the Wild 2 there are so many great games in the back catalogue of the Zelda franchise to check out, and more than ever are accessible via Nintendo Switch Online, or as Switch games in their own right.

Let me know in the comments what you think about waiting for Breath of the Wild 2, and let me know when you think it’s going to release.

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